I Think I’m Learning Japanese

I am on Day Two of learning Japanese. Rosetta Stone presents an interesting language process. Basically, they skip around and get your survival brain out of the way. And blindly, you follow their drills. After one lesson, I was starting to recognize the words. As to being effective, let’s talk in a couple of months.

Japan is fascinating. I know I did not blog a lot about my deployment there. Mostly because I was on the ship and not walking around town. We were bobbing around, as much as a carrier bobs around, out in the middle of nowhere.

I can’t but help to think that our relationship used to be this:

These leaflets were dropped over Japanese-occupied Kiska and Attu during the Aleutian Campaign of World War II by Patrol Squadron VP45 USN.

Paper cut-out in the shape of a paulownia leaf, printed in gold, black and green. Background printed on each side is a photographic reproduction of a leaf in gold and black. In the center is a black rectangle with green border around Japanese characters. Inscription: inscription in Japanese Notes: Loose translation of Japanese text: “Leaves of paulownia tree will drop–an ill omen–Japanese military government will be destroyed. Sorrow and sadness forever. Before spring comes, American bombs will fall like leaves, bringing in much sadness and unhappiness.”

These leaflets were dropped over Japanese-occupied Kiska and Attu during the Aleutian Campaign of World War II by Patrol Squadron VP45 USN.

And now our relationship allows this:

Like a Jimmy Buffet song: JS Shirane (DDH 143), of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, transits the waters of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam for RIMPAC 2012.

A Japanese warship transiting through Pearl Harbor to take part in RIMPAC.
Could you have imagined it occurring 70 years ago?

One last note on Japan: their exercise videos combine aerobics with learning English.